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Syracuse University Libraries

PSC 400 - Humanitarian Action in World Politics (Spring 2020)

A research starting points guide for students in Prof Abdelaaty's PSC 400 course

Databases for articles in IR & Political Science

Specific Recommended Databases:

Here is the full SU Libraries Databases A-Z List
Databases are highly indexed online collections that can help you locate journal articles, books, and book chapters, images, video and additional primary sources.


  • Proquest - ProQuest is a large multidisciplinary database with thousands of article from leading political science and international relations scholarly journal titles, as well as policy "magazines" and "trade publications," not to mention articles from "newspapers" as well.  A subpart of this database focused exclusively on poli sci is called Political Science Database.
  • PAIS - This database chronicles issues in the public debate through highly selective coverage of a wide variety of sources including journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, publications of international agencies, and more. Includes excellent coverage of international affairs and political science topics.
  • Peace Research Abstracts - Peace Research Abstracts includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to peace research, including conflict resolution, international affairs, peace psychology, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline.

  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts - Citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy.
  • JSTOR - Full-text archive of scholarly publications in mathematics, science, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences. Note:  Employs a moving wall concept wherein journal literature here is never the most recent for that journal.  Publication lag ranges between one (1) to as much as three to five (3 to 5) years old. 
  • SUMMON - A search engine for most of the Syracuse University Libraries' collections and other resources beyond the SU Libraries.  Includes articles, books, journals, maps, sound recordings, archival materials, government documents, and more.  Use for searching for articles.  Narrow or expand results using multiple search refinements. Search result volume here will be very large, so be sure to apply post result refinements available at the left margin of SUMMON results screens, especially refinements by desired "content type" and "publication date."
  • United Nations Treaty Collection - Contains full-text of the United Nations Treaty Series, the United Nations Treaty Series Cumulative Index, and the League of Nations Treaty Series, the current status of the Multilateral Treaties deposited with the Secretary-General (MTDSG), and texts of recently deposited multilateral treaties.  PSC 400 students consulting any of these primary source agreements, will find they are quite lengthy, in multiple languages - and when navigating this database - may wish to click thru on the link under MTDSG- indicating - "Certified True Copies."
  • Scopus - One of the largest scholarly databases on Earth.  Source references here also include tracking of subsequent citations to earlier articles via "cited by" links.  Scopus is not a full-text article database.  Click on the "SULinks" link next to an article of interest to verify availability at SU. 
    • Alternatively, you can manually check whether a periodical/journal title containing an article is in the SU Libraries collection, by entering that journal title into the Journal Locator.
    • If you try typing part of the title of an academic article(s) you locate in another database - into Scopus, if available in Scopus, the "cited by" references will indicate if additional scholars have cited that article in subsequent, more recent articles.  Great tool for gathering sources for a literature review.

  Watch for the SULinks icon

S U Links

If you see this next to the record for an article in an SU Libraries database, click on it to see if the full-text is available online.

Using the Journal Locator

Using the Journal Locator, you can find out if SU Libraries subscribes to a specific journal, magazine or newspaper.


Video Collections at SU Libraries

For more information about video access via SU Libraries and Bird Library's 3rd floor service desk - visit the SU Libraries Video and Music Website.


These three database collections include a wide variety of educational and documentary films, including some coverage of international affairs, war and weapons, U.S. tensions with North Korea, Iran and the like. Enter keyword searches or browse subject categories.  The Kanopy collection also includes some feature films, while Academic Video Online content includes historical newsreels as well as a cross section of historical U.S. televised public affairs programming from shows like "60 Minutes" and "Meet the Press."

IRP/PSC 400 students who choose to browse the subject category options in Kanopy, will want to look at categories such as

  • Documentaries:  Politics and Current Affairs
  • Global Studies
  • Social Sciences, Political Science
  • History - Modern

In Academic Video Online, one can search for content or browse the collection menu (to get to specific historical TV programs like 60 Minutes) or other collections (e.g., World Newsreels Online, etc.)

In Docuseek2, one can search for content or browse to subject categories for those video documentaries, such as "international relations and geopolitics," or "international law" or click on a country name of interest